Torger Reve is a Professor of Strategy and Industrial Competitiveness at BI Norwegian Business School, where he also heads the Center for Maritime Competitiveness. He has previously been President of BI from 1997 to 2005, President of the Foundation for Research in Economics and Business Administration (SNF), and Professor of Organization Science at the Norwegian School of Economics (NHH). Reve has a very impressive academic background, largely achieved in the United States:
- Bachelor of Arts from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota (1970)
- Bachelor of Science (Siviløkonom) from NHH in Bergen, Norway (1972)
- Master of Science (Siviløkonom høyere avdeling) from NHH (1975)
- PhD in marketing from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois (1980)
- Post-doc studies in organizational science at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California (1983)
Why did you decide to study in the United States?
I wanted to get an international perspective, so I got a scholarship from the Norway-America Foundation and ended up at Gustavus, a liberal arts college with Swedish heritage in the Midwest. When I decided to take my PhD at Northwestern, that was a deliberate choice due to their PhD program in marketing being the best in the world, and I wanted to study under Professor Louis W. Stern who was the top professor there. It worked out just beautifully.
What are your best memories from your time in the U.S?
What I liked the most was the international flavor of U.S. universities. I remember well my winter term project at Gustavus, studying rural poverty in the Appalachian Mountains, combining my field studies with extensive travelling throughout the U.S. Since then, I have never stopped travelling to new places.
What were the biggest challenges during your time there?
It was a bit difficult to adjust to living in a dorm and sharing a room with a stranger, but I was quick to adapt to American college life. I just loved the academic part of it.
Aside from getting an education, in what way would you say that studying in the U.S. has been a benefit to you professionally?
Fluent English is a bonus after studying in the U.S., but more so all the friendships and academic relations from my time there. Now, I can go to Singapore and meet the Dean of one of the leading business schools there, who is an old classmate from Stanford. This makes academic life much, much easier than if I had studied at home.
In what way did your time in the U.S. affect you personally?
My first years of studying in the U.S. were very formative days as we had student protests all around us against the Vietnam War. This thought me about the value of a free society, which you cannot overestimate when you see what is happening in many parts of the world today.
Would you recommend other Norwegians to study in U.S.?
I recommend all my students to spend at least one year of studies abroad. It expands your mind and it makes you value diversity. The more advanced program and the more prestigious the university, the better. Today, I go to Asia for business, but I go to the U.S. for research and innovation.
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